Social media is the current trend of the decade. It is comprised of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, YouTube, and much more. It is estimated that at least a billion people around the world have one social media profile active. There is an increasing focus on social media and engaging with one another online in various forms. While most individuals manage to moderate their use of these mediums, there are many who have developed an addiction to social media. The following infographic deals with the many signs that individuals suffering from such a condition may display:
- 1 1. Poor Time Management
- 2 2. Isolation
- 3 3. Headaches
- 4 4. Dishonesty
- 5 5. Euphoria
- 6 6. Preoccupation
- 7 7. Weight Changes
- 8 8. Defensiveness
- 9 9. Back Pain
- 10 10. Lack of Control
- 11 11. Blurred Vision
- 12 12. Escapism
- 13 13. Imbalanced Life
- 14 14. Disturbances in Sleep
- 15 15. Withdrawal
1. Poor Time Management
One of the first signs of an addiction to social media is how using social media causes you to spend less time on other activities. For instance, if you have such an addiction, you may spend hours scrolling through feeds, without even realizing your actions. It can also be classified as a devoting time that you don’t have to the various social media sites. A lack of time management can also result in a feeling of lost time – you let hours slip by while you are on the internet.
Due to the increased amount of time spent on social media, you may stop spending time with people in the real world. This may include your family, friends, and even colleagues. There is a greater interest in spending time with people you met online rather than in a physical sense. As a result, this may include turning down invitations to go out or meet other individuals face to face.
The longer the time spent staring at a computer screen or digital device, the greater the eye strain that occurs. If this strain continues, particularly on a daily basis, this can cause frequent headaches. This can also be accompanied by a decrease in the ability to concentrate or focus for long periods of time.
Another tell-tale symptom of social media addiction is that you feel the need to lie about how much you use these sites. This is a tactic that is used to avoid judgment from others regarding just how often you are involved with social media. You may not want friends and family to find out about the number of hours you spend on social media. Therefore, you may pretend to be working or taking part in another project.
One of the reasons that a particular habit becomes an addiction is due to the sense of euphoria or ‘high’ experienced with the habit. With social media addiction, this is a sense of pleasure that you get every time someone messages you, you read a new post, or see a new picture. This ‘high’ causes you to interact with social media sites even more in order to recreate that feeling.
With an addiction, it is not just about actually carrying out the activity. For instance, if you are not on social media but still thinking about it, it is equally as disruptive. You may be thinking about what someone else is going to post, what you may post, or any number of other things. You may also be craving the need to use the internet and social media sites when you are unable to do so.
7. Weight Changes
You may find that you are either putting on weight or losing weight. Individuals who are putting on weight may be doing so as their fixation with the internet may cause them to lead more sedentary lives. They spend an increased amount of time sitting or lying down and do not get enough exercise. Conversely, those who lose weight may find themselves forgetting to eat at regular intervals as they are preoccupied with their computers or phones.
When family members and friends notice certain changes in your health and lifestyle, it is quite possible that they will confront you. This intervention can result in your trying to defend the amount of time you spend on social media. You will come up with excuses that you feel are valid to explain your behavior.
9. Back Pain
Spending hours in front of a computer or hunched over a digital device can cause certain stress to your back. This can cause your back muscles to feel strained or you may experience frequent back pain. However, despite this discomfort, those with social media addiction will continue to partake in these activities in this manner.
10. Lack of Control
You are unable to exercise any control over how much you are using the internet. Even when you understand that there will be negative consequences as a result of continuously being on social media, you still do so. If you do attempt to cut yourself off from these sites, you may find yourself unable to stay away from them for too long.
11. Blurred Vision
If you continue to strain your eyes without taking the necessary precautions, you may find them getting more and more tired. A result of this would be a blurred vision where you are unable to see things clearly or focus your vision. In most instances, this deteriorating vision will not be a deterrence.
One of the reasons that an addiction may occur is because you use your online existence as a way of ignoring daily problems. You may resort to focusing on online matters, friends, and other news instead of dealing with real world problems. This, in itself, may become habit forming and whenever you are faced with an issue, you may choose to go on a social media site instead.
13. Imbalanced Life
As you spend so much time with social media, you are unable to maintain the balance that is required in your life. You continue to be on social media, ignoring other responsibilities such as work or home life. In the event that they overlap, you will choose social media over other activities regardless of importance.
14. Disturbances in Sleep
If you are preoccupied with social media you may find it difficult to leave your profiles and devices unattended for long. You are constantly checking to see if there are any updates or new information. This will even take place when it is time for you to sleep. You will not allow yourself to sleep as you are thinking about social media. This means that you will be getting up every so often to keep track of any changes.
One of the true indicators of an addiction is the presence of withdrawal symptoms. This takes place when you do not have access to your object of addiction. In most times this manifests itself in bad moods and irritability. You may feel anxious when you have to be away from your computer and phone for too long.